Devastating Straight-Line Winds Pound Gage, Saline Counties

BEATRICE – The National Weather Service says preliminary surveys indicate that damage done by severe storms in southern Lancaster, Saline and Gage Counties was likely caused by strong straight-line winds.

Forecaster Cathy Zapotocny says one tornado was indicated two miles northeast of Lincoln, but no tornadoes have been confirmed in Saline or Gage Counties, at this time.  She says its’ possible the storm line that dropped south packed winds in the 80 to 100 mile-per-hour range.

:32                  “and even higher”

Forward and rear downdrafts from severe thunderstorms can mean high wind speeds that do a lot of damage.  Zapotocny says survey teams look at three main factors in evaluating the severe weather.

:35                  “to support it”

Zapotocny says it can take several days to determine exactly the type of storms that did the damage.   Despite the widespread damage across southern Nebraska, no fatalities were reported….and only minor injuries.

:23                  “the Kansas border”

The National Weather Service says preliminary information indicated there were two tornadoes in the Bellevue area Friday night.  One touched down just after 8 p.m. near Willow Lakes Golf Course.  It lifted about 20 minutes later near Champions Village and was on the ground for about 3 miles.  The twister was rates an EF-1, with wind speeds of up to 110 miles-per-hour.

A second twister apparently touched down just west of Offutt Air Base, moving southeast before it dissipated at the Missouri River.  It was rated at EF-2, with wind speeds up to 135 miles per hour, and was on the ground for over 9 miles.

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